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Thread: I Need Help With Alcohol...

  1. #1

    I Need Help With Alcohol...

    ...and I'm not joking. I live in CA and can no longer get a gallon of Denatured Alcohol. Can anyone help me out with a solution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Choose another type of finish? Sure hope people aren't using denatured alcohol in hand sanitizer. It's very toxic and not a lot of difference between skin absorption and drinking it. If you are talking about CA just not selling it, buy Everclear instead. Much more expensive!
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 04-09-2020 at 10:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    Can you get Everclear there? It is up to 95% ethanol, reportedly the best kind of alcohol for use with shellac.

  4. #4
    Ok...I need an education here as to what's the difference between Denatured Alcohol and Everclear. I use it for cleaning clock and knife parts and occasional, for finishes.

  5. #5
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    Denatured alcohol was developed during prohibition. It has toxic additives to keep people from drinking it. Unfortunately, people still did and they went blind, and/or died. An estimated 10,000 deaths during prohibition. It's very toxic and is hazardous if absorbed through the skin. For cleaning, acetone would be a much better choice, but still best to keep it off your skin.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 04-09-2020 at 10:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    ...and I'm not joking. I live in CA and can no longer get a gallon of Denatured Alcohol. Can anyone help me out with a solution?
    Yes, get yourself some 99% Isopropyl Alcohol. I have obtained it by the gallon from Amazon. Under normal conditions, you can find it in printing supply places quite reasonably. The traditional non-digital printing presses use it to clean rollers.

    However, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking the medical crisis might have disrupted the availability of Isopropyl alcohol because it is used in sanitizers. If this is the case, then you may have to consider the Everclear route, or take a drive to Arizona or some other state and get DA.
    Other ideas: Behlen makes a proprietary shellac solvent called Behkol. I have seen it on Shellac.net. Not sure if they would ship to CA, but you can try. Also, I have heard that camping fuel can be used to dissolve shellac, but I've never tried it, and maybe it depends on the brand of fuel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    When the morons who got that ruling passed first succeeded I went online and ordered a couple of gallons. It was delivered no problem. I tried again just the other day but, the ruling has caught up with the suppliers and it's no-go. I use a lot of shellac and figure when the time comes I will find some way to get some. California is a long state but, it is also narrow. Maybe a team-buy and a 3 hour drive to Arizona or Nevada is the answer. I never let a trip to the river or Vegas go to waste. Waterlox and ARS used to be my "gotta get" items while over the border. Now I'll add DNA.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  8. #8
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    Derek,

    Everclear is 190 proof (95%) grain alcohol and is drinkable. You can get or order it at your local liquor store.

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Polubinsky View Post
    Derek,

    Everclear is 190 proof (95%) grain alcohol and is drinkable. You can get or order it at your local liquor store.

    Cliff
    So can Everclear be used just like Denatured, isopropyl? Is it all the same?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Polubinsky View Post
    Derek,

    Everclear is 190 proof (95%) grain alcohol and is drinkable. You can get or order it at your local liquor store.

    Cliff
    Cost prohibitive in Cali as far as I have been able to find.

    "Shoes for industry"
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Silicon Valley, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    ... If you are talking about CA just not selling it, buy Everclear instead. Much more expensive!
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Can you get Everclear there? ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Polubinsky View Post
    .... You can get or order it at your local liquor store. ...
    Uh, no. Not in California. (It's a liquor law, not an air pollution law.) We're limited to 151 proof.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    So can Everclear be used just like Denatured, isopropyl? Is it all the same?
    Denatured alcohol is just pure Ethanol, like EverClear, with poison added. Typical poison is Methanol (which makes you twitch, go blind, and then die with too much exposure. Healthy stuff. Not!) Many people's exposure is limited, so they don't worry about it (or don't know) and seem fine. Many threads here on substitutes, workarounds, and concentrations of various brands of denatured (some are high and some have less.)

    If you find the "best" solution, please share! I'd like to be able to use shellac more and without so much stress.

  12. #12
    BEHKOL is made for shellac use, it works and is much cheaper than Everclear.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Cache Valley, Utah
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    Another alternative is indoor fireplace fuel. It's essentially pure ethanol with a bittering agent added to make it undrinkable. Generally available on Amazon in quarts and cases of quarts. As far as I know it's not as toxic as DNA, and I've used a couple of gallons of it with shellac with good results. however, I was in my local pro paint store yesterday and saw they had gallons of DNA for $15, so I may go back to that.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    LI, NY
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    Check amazon, Cleanstrip Green alcohol. it is ethanol (grain alcohol) vs methanol (petroleum based) with an additive to stop being able to drink it. To make it "denatured". It is much like everclear but not able to be consumed. I checked amazon for 94132. and it is in stock @17.40 QT ! and deliverable to San Fran by may 7th.....By truck.....Look into it. Also the green alcohol might be available locally from an ACE hardware store. I have not personally used it but if could get some and try. Ethanol is also sold as "stove fuel"..just check the labels for the additives..they should be less than 5% to work with shellac...That's what I would do.....just say'n......
    Last edited by joe maday; 04-09-2020 at 2:45 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
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    714
    When ethanol is distilled, 95% EtOH/H2O is the product since it forms an azeotrope with water which boils at a lower temperature than the pure alcohol does. The only way to overcome that is to add a third solvent, such as benzene, that will form a triple azeotrope where 99+% ethanol is the product. Very rarely is such a product needed, though. (How I remember this from chemistry lab over 40 years ago is amazing to me when I would be hard pressed to tell you what I had for dinner last night.)

    Denatured means that 1 or more of a number of other compounds has been added to make it hazardous to ingest. Methanol was used formerly but it is very hazardous - even with skin contact. BTW, methanol was/is called wood alcohol since it is derived from cellulose.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

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